Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Competition: What A Nightmare! Beckindale With A Dallas Twist!

The Woolpack Inn, Beckindale, December 19, 1989: 7.15 am - Amos Brearly wakes up and goes downstairs to find Mr Wilks preparing a full English breakfast for them both...

"Mr Wilks!" he groans, "I've just 'ad this terrible dream. It seemed to go on for years. Them Tates what 'ave just moved into Home Farm turned out to be right nasty, and there was a plane crash in't village, and Emmerdale Farm fell down, and the post office blew up, and there was a seige at Home Farm and a house blew up in a gas explosion, and a baby died - one o' them cot deaths - and the people who thought they were't parents found out it was somebody else's baby, and there was a seige at Home Farm and a family called King moved in and one of them put his step-mother's coffin in a bin lorry and people in't village were being right strange - like they were actin' in a third rate pantomime... and there were a lot else besides..."

Mr Wilks smiles: "Amos, how many times have I told you not to eat cheese just before bed?"

So, it's still December 1989. Amos has dreamt all the events taking place in Beckindale/Emmerdale from December 1989 right up to 2008. Now, it's over to you! How do you imagine the saga may have continued if there had been no plane crash? If Amos hadn't retired in 1991? If Emmerdale Farm hadn't fallen down? Could Matt and Dolly have been reconciled? Should the teen element in the show have been raised - or lowered? What about the Tates, newly arrived in November 1989 - how would you have developed their characters? Would you have brought in the modern day characters of the Emmerdale saga? Would you have changed the name of the village?

What exactly would you have done if you were taking the show into the 1990s - and beyond?

Please share your alternative Beckindale Beyond The '80s Vision with us here at The Bugle - e-mail or leave your thoughts in the Comments. Our favourite entry will win colour signed photographs of Arthur Pentelow (Mr Wilks) and Ronald Magill (Amos Brearly) from the 1980s.


  1. Berryman22.10.08

    Here's what REALLY happened:

    Kim was fed up with living with a haulage magnate, it reminded her of the dreadful old TV serial "The Brothers", so she left Frank and went to live in Cleckheaton.

    Chris discovered he was gay. He dallied with Nick, but really loved archie.

    Seth and Meg won the premium bonds and Seth bought shares in the Woolly after Mr Wilks died. Amos did not retire, and Seth and he settled down as bitter rivals and business partners.

    Subsidence WAS discovered at Emmerdale Farm - due to years of Annie's suet puddings and dumplings putting strain on the foundations. The process had been accelerating since the Great Treacle Tart Fest of 1991. The house would survive, but it had to be shored up and Annie was told NO MORE SUET.

    The Jackie Merrick death story never happened and Kathy, her marriage to him at an end, leaves to stay with Grannie in Scarborough whilst Jackie takes over Emmerdale Farm.

    Rachel and Mark Hughes are deported for being completely and utterly selfish and boring. The judge tells Rachel she ought to try not keeping her brains in her knickers in future.

    Kate and Joe go and farm Hawthorn (organically, of course!) and are very happy. Dolly follows Matt to Norfolk with Sam and the couple are reconciled, becoming very frequent visitors to Beckindale.

    Frank sells Home Farm. NY Estates buy it back and appoint Alan Turner back to his old job. Caroline returns as Kathy is looking after Alice senior in Scarborough, and becomes Alan's secretary again. But she tells him they are starting from scratch - as Mrs Bates and Mr Turner. He's hurt her before, this time she's having no nonsense.

    Archie is arrested in the Poll Tax riots, and decides to settle down. He lodges with Joe and Kate and is employed by them on their organic holding.

    He is totally unaware of Chris Tate's feelings for him...

  2. The idea of Seth and Amos as business prtners at the Woolpack sounds excellent! And Kim's realisation that Frank's business set-up was like "The Brothers" - LOL! Not exactly glamorous, was it?

    Some good ideas here, Berryman - we like the way you mix tongue-in-cheek with serious suggestions. Matt and Dolly reconciling would have been a storyline dear to our hearts, and young Rachel's endless parade of men - including her own step-uncle, did get on our nerves.

    Kate and Joe staying together would have been great, and the organic holding at Hawthorn Cottage, with Archie employed to help work it, was very well thought out.

    You obviously know your vintage Beckindale!

    Thanks for taking the time to give us your vision of Beckindale "Beyond The '80s".

  3. Lorraine22.10.08

    Annie should never of married again - she married twice in the 90's. That was very, very silly. The Woolpack should not of gone posh - when I visited the pub in Esholt in the mid 90's, it was very down to earth. Amos should never of left, and I didn't like that bitchy Lynn girl. They should of kept it down to earth. Nick and Elsa could of been happy together and Joe didn't need to be killed off. The plane crash should not of happened. The series should of been re-named as "BECKINDALE". And Kathy should of been written out. I never believed Chris Tate would of fallen in love with her. She was just a character desperate for a story all the while after Jackie died. And why kill Archie? He was lovely.

  4. Anonymous23.10.08

    I think it needed the Dingles - though it was a shame Nellie (Sandra Gough) left. I know she played somebody else in the show in the 80’s, but she was still great as Nellie. The producers just needed to stop it going over the top - as with the plane crash, some of Kim’s doings, the Cinderella Mandy/Paddy story.

    They needed to keep it more real. But it needed young people. The trouble was that a lot of the youngsters in the show like Nick, Rachel and Michael had no charisma or charm. Biff was okay, but not wonderful. I think the Glover girl (I forget her name) was pretty good, and Tina Dingle was excellent, but neither lasted very long.

    If I had been in charge I’d have kept it more ordinary, like it was in the 80’s. A yuppie presence might have been good, but the Macallisters? Oh please!!

    As for recent stuff, I no longer watch, I haven’t for about 5 years.

  5. Squirrel K23.10.08

    Whatever they did to it, did they have to make it so STUPID? A beautifully crafted soap opera turned into a sick parody!

  6. Anonymous23.10.08

    What's so stupid about it? Emmerdale plans storylines for up to a year in advance - like they're doing with Jack's exit - I think they know what they're doing.

    People said a recent village show episode was silly by having Donald playing with his train set - it's no more silly than watching Amos playing with a space invaders game.

  7. Squirrel K23.10.08

    WHEN did Amos EVER play with a Space Invaders game?

  8. In 1981, Squirrel K - a Space Invaders machine was delivered to the Woolpack in error. Amos declared it "new fangled nonsense" and kep t it in the back room until it could be collected by the purveyor. But, of course, a few covert games led to him getting well and truly hooked! It was an excellent storyline, very much reflecting the popular culture of that year.

    This thread is getting off the point. Let's stick to an alternative Emmerdale - 1989 to 2008, shall we?

  9. I would of most definitely kept up the farming content more. And stories about the Fell Rescuers, things like that. I remember pot holers getting into trouble in the 1970s, Jackie Merrick falling down a hole in the 1980s and Amos Brearly getting lost and having to be rescued out on the fells in 1983. More stories like that in the 90's and 00's would of been good.

  10. Yes, and more of the local traditions and speech. My father's family live in Yorkshire and Lancashire and I'm not sure that the likes of Emmerdale and Corrie are truly representing their localities anymore. They could be set almost anywhere in England.

  11. I'm a Scot and I see the soap "River City" fairly regularly. It has a much stronger local flavour than your English soaps - and that includes EastEnders, which is just daft. I'm off-topic again. Apologies and nice to talk with you!

  12. And you. Now back to topic - anymore suggestions for an alternative Emmerdale from 1989 to 2008? The competition is open until next Wednesday.

  13. Callie24.10.08

    I would definitely have "wooed" actor Ronald Magill (Amos) to remain with the programme! The upmarket Woolpack did not ring true. Nor did all that business with Kathy's tea rooms and the bistro. Here was a rural village, out in the middle of nowhere, and yet it was turning into Yuppy Villas! I would have upped the raunch rating a bit, but also carried on the farming content. The Dingles started off quite sinister. It would have been good to retain a bit of that.

  14. Anonymous24.10.08

    In its first twenty years, Emmerdale developed naturally. Characters matured, new ones arrived and the pace picked up in the wake of new soaps like EastEnders.

    But in the last few years we've seen it turn into something else entirely.

    I would like to have seen Emmerdale continue to develop naturally in the 90's. My own way would have been to decrease the emphasis on the farm but still keep the gentle side of the show and the gritty realism which became more prevelant in the 80's.

    But instead Emmerdale went on an all out "grab viewers ANY viewers" course. The current show had no right to celebrate 35 years last year. It is some kind of hideous mutant offspring of the original, born in the early 90's.

    It's an imposter.

  15. Anonymous24.10.08

    Some people just hate criticisms of Emmerdale. I think that's sad. It's like it must be their whole life or something. Personally I've never liked it. Taking it off in 1989 would of been the best move. But though it was ploddingly bad between 72 and 89, now it's just plain bloody embarrassing. My "beyond the 80's" vision would of been to cancel the show and to free the 90's of a piece of soap baloney.

  16. Anonymous25.10.08

    It's been said that Emmerdale should be ended following the death of Jack Sugden (Clive Hornby) as it's so different to when it first started.

    What soap is the same now as when it first started?

    I'm sure Clive Hornby would not want a show he spend 28 years of his life in to come to an end.

    Leave it be - a tribute to the much missed Jack!!!

  17. The plane crash way back in December 1993 should have been the end of it. I've never known a soap opera stoop so low. And it was then it really stopped having any resemblance to Emmerdale Farm.

  18. Amos Fan26.10.08

    If I was Emmerdale producer in the ‘90s, I would have made Dolly Skilbeck behave more consistently. Here was a lovely, gentle character that from 1988 onwards started to behave very oddly indeed. OK, I know people do have affairs, so maybe the Stephen Fuller business was reality, but for her then to split with Matt, take up with Charlie Aindow and get pregnant was pathetic. And as for the abortion and her silly impassioned feminist speech about a woman’s right, well, Dolly loved kids and would never have said that, much less had the abortion.

    I didn’t believe in her then and as she’d been one of my absolute ‘80s favourites, I was glad that the character left, because she had become a travesty.

    And why on earth kill off Jackie Merrick so that Kathy with her irritating laugh and cardboard thin character could stay? Better to have written both characters out, they could have re-located, giving Jackie the chance to live on and reappear again later - with or without Kathy.

    Then there were the teenagers. I would never have done it if I‘d been producing the show! The early-to-mid 1980s brought us plenty of permanent youth characters - Jackie, Sandie, Archie, Kathy and Nick. But the awful Rachel and Mark in 1988 were tipping the scales too far and when Elsa and Michael and Biff appeared in the 1990s, I thought what the hell is this - Neighbours? Youth characters work well in lively settings, but not in Beckindale, and the cameras following “Whoops, I just dropped me knickers AGAIN, naughty little me!!” Rachel off to university was totally off the point.

    Was she supposed to be a modern, emancipated ‘90’s girl? Because she just came across as a thick witted tramp.

    I would have had a serious youth cull, not up-marketed the Woolly, not killed off Meg Armstrong, and not rewritten so much history. I recall Seth once saying that he liked and romanced Enoch Tolly’s wife-to-be, Grace, in the war years, but that was totally rewritten in favour of Betty later. Betty’s great, but I don’t believe that she knew Seth so far back or that she knew Amos and the old crowd. The way it’s written I just think it’s ridiculous. She left Beckindale in the ‘60s - how convenient!!

    And as for the KINGS! TRASH! I’d much rather NY Estates had stayed on than this poor man’s Dallas/Dynasty that’s been played out at Home Farm since Kim turned into an Alexis clone in the ‘90s!

  19. Anonymous28.10.08

    I totally agree with some of the points above, heres my intake on the show between those years.
    Amos would have remained in the show, and retired AFTER Henry Wilks death. Amos would still have remained in Beckindale and would eventually be killed off in the late nineties to add closure to the character. The same would also happen to Annie but a few years later. Death is natural and in reality older people do die.
    The Dingles would never have arrived as well as the McAllisters and the Windsors. Kathy Tate would have taken over the post office following her divorce from Chris which is far more realistic than the tea-rooms/wine bar. Kathy would later remarry and have children, who would by now (2008) be in their early teens and causing havoc for Kathy and her husband.
    Joe and Kate would never have split up, but Kate would later die. Joe would have a double act kind of relationship with Jack. In the unfortunate event of Clive Hornby's death Joe would take over as the farmer figure.
    Dolly and Matt would split, and Matt would still leave Beckindale. Dolly would leave following her affair with Charlie Ainsow and return to Matt, where we would later learn that they have remarried and Matt has accepted Dolly's daugther as their own.
    On Madeleine Howard's decision to leave Sarah would not have been recast to the vile Alyson Spiro version. The Glovers would be made more interesting with Jan and Roy cast with different actors, and the plane crash would not happen until midway through 1994 with more dramatic scenes to match that of the house collapse of 2006. The village would still be renamed Emmerdale after this.
    The series would continue to be filmed in Esholt and Emmerdale Farm would not be written out, however I do like the above idea of Joe and Kate Sugden living at Hawthorn.
    The Kings would still arrive in 2004 and Tom would have a long running feud with Joe Sugden from their younger days.
    Kim Tate would still be in it today!

    Mark xx

  20. Love the idea of Kathy running the Post Office, Mark - much more natural than the tea rooms/bistro of the 90's.

  21. I'd keep it as it is - minus Kings, Dingles and plane crash. And plus better writing.

  22. Anonymous12.11.08

    If was series producer of Emmerdale
    in the 90s and 00s, I wouldv'e written out Annie Sugden and kept the youth of Jackiey, Sandie, Rachel & Mark as they would've kept the farm going the Skilbeck's wouldve stayed and I would've introduced
    a long lost daughter for Matt
    characters like Jack, Kate, Joe,
    Sarah wouldve stayed.

    Zoe Tate would never have become a lesbian, it didn't make sense since she started off in the dales as straight, Chris would still have married Kathy and had a child to her he wouldnt married Rachel but still had a child to her
    Kim wouldve had an affair with Mark
    and Jackiey to turn them against each other and Frank wouldve had an affair with Kate and Dolly

    The windsors wouldve arrived in 1991 instead of 93, Kelly and Scott would never have had an affair also I wouldve delayed kelly's and Roy's departure for a few years until 2002/03 Vic still wouldve died but on milleniums eve
    Bob and Viv still married
    and Dawn wouldnt have died in the house collapse but still wouldve left with danny and moved to france

    The dingles wouldve been the same
    so no change there

    Th blackstock/lambert/thomas clan wouldve played a much bigger role in the 00s

    Th plane crash wouldnt have killed off archie and mark, it still wouldve killed elizabeth and leonard in addition lynn whitely wouldve died as she is nasty and shirley wouldve died as she died a few months later anyway,

    the storm wouldve become the hurrincane and more death and destruction wouldve taken place
    aswell as tricias death the marsdens wouldve been killed off in an explosion after lightning strkes thire house

    who knows where emmerdale will be in the 2010s and 2020s eh

    and was Nick bates even gay with archie?